Most people living in a home have some type of yard that needs to be cut and maintained in the spring, summer, and fall. Some yards are larger than others and if you aren’t bagging your grass clippings then those cuttings have to end up somewhere. If you have a mulching mower then ideally they are simply getting put back into the lawn never to be seen again.
There’s usually one strip of grass that borders along the street (2 if you live on a corner lot). It’s important that when we’re cutting this strip near the road we blow the clippings back into our own lawn and NOT into the street. But why? Well that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this article. I honestly never thought about it for the longest time but there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t blow your grass clippings into the street, so let’s have a look at them!
7 reasons why you shouldn’t blow grass clippings into the street
1. It’s slippery for vehicles
Cars, motorcycles, even bicycles. Think of fresh grass clippings in the road like ice to motorists and bicyclists. Because of this, it becomes very slippery and potentially dangerous which means you could cause an accident and hurt someone.
2. Blowing dangerous debris
Think rocks, sticks, or a child’s plastic toy. Some people have gravel driveways or landscaping features on their property. This gravel can get into the lawn and we all know what happens when a rock shoots out of a lawnmower. It could hit cars, walkers, or other houses. You could get stuck with a bill to fix someone’s property or even sued.
3. Can negatively affect water supplies
When storm drains get clogged with grass clippings a few things can happen. One is that they can get backed up and flood, effecting everyone in the neighborhood. You’d probably quickly be pinpointed as the guy that blows his lawn clippings into the street and clogs the storm drains. Another thing that can happen is that the nitrogen, phosphorous, and other elements in the clippings and throw off the water supply flowing into the treatment plant. This affects our actual drinking water.
4. You’re robbing your lawn of nutrients
These grass clippings are actually good for our lawns and help them grow. They act as a natural fertilizer for our lawns helping them grow greener, thicker, and healthier. Just make sure you are using a proper mulching mower, large chunks of grass clippings laying around can actually kill patches of grass if the grass underneath “can’t breathe”.
5. It’s illegal in some places
Some cities and towns have ordinances about blowing your grass clippings in to the street and impose fines if you do. Because of the dangers we touched on above many places felt it necessary to not only discourage the practice, but also make it illegal. A typical fine for blowing grass clippings into the street ranges from $50 to $300.
6. The clippings have lots of uses
If you bag your clippings and can distribute them where you like then you actually have a lot of options. Below are some of the things you can do with grass clippings after mowing your yard.
- Food for some types of animals
- Use as compost
- Makes a great mulch
- For use in gardening beds
- Take it to a recycling center
7. It just looks bad
Let’s face it, it really does look bad when you are driving through a neighborhood and one house carelessly blew their cuttings all over the road. Or even worse, your car gets sprayed as you are driving by the house and the worst moment when the lawnmower is cutting. Either way it just looks terrible. Keep the street clean of your yard’s mess, and hopefully everyone else will do the same.
So if you’ve ever wondered what the big deal was with blow grass clippings into the road, then now you know. There are many reasons why you should avoid doing it and we went over several of them in this article.
Thanks for reading!